Experts on German Youth Soccer, Eddie Loewen & Arne Friedrich Speak at United Soccer Coaches 2019 Convention
How to Recognize and Develop Leaders on your Team? Learn from Germany’s World Cup Player
Arne Friedrich is a German football legend — the former defender who played 82 times for the German National Team and was the Coach/Manager of Germany U18 National Team. He also played in the MLS, earning Chicago Fire 2012 Defender of the Year. Eddie Loewen is the Director of Coaching of Dunedin Stirling Soccer Club — the GPS Tampa Bay Affiliate of FC Bayern Munich. Loewen, also a former German pro and Friedrich are partners in GFL Soccer and passionately connect American youth soccer players with their homeland’s top academies.
In the highly competitive soccer world, the ability to lead is critical. Actually, the ability to be an effective leader is necessary for success in every field. There are more best-selling books on the topic of leadership than you can count — but how many are written by former top World Cup stars? Developing the next generation of soccer professionals is an important responsibility. And, team sports, more than anything else, provides the tools for a lifetime of success on and off the pitch.
Unleashing a player’s potential requires the ability to develop leaders.
Eddie Lowen and Arne Friedrich are presenting two sessions at the United Soccer Coaches 2019 Convention in Chicago.
- How to Recognize and Develop Leaders on Your Team at 11 AM
- Effective and Impactful Leadership in Coaching at 4 PM
Both presentations are targeted at soccer coaches at all levels. Whether you are a youth, High School, College or Pro Coach, these sessions will provide beneficial insights.
Here is Diane Scavuzzo’s interview with Eddie Loewen on the importance of leadership in soccer:
Diane Scavuzzo: What are the traits of an effective leader? Do coaches realize their leadership role in their players’ lives and their community?
Eddie Loewen: I really don’t think that we put enough emphasis on recognizing and developing leaders in this generation.
What does it take to be a leader? Can everybody be a leader? What are indicators of leadership qualities? And how do I develop these qualities in players once I recognize somebody is capable of leadership?
Those are some of the questions that we will target in this presentation and we will use real examples of Arne Friedrich’s time in the Bundesliga and with the German National team.
Arne played for Germany in five major tournaments including the 2010 World Cup roster in South Africa. He started every match and was pivotal in Germany finishing third and became one of the best defenders of the World Cup and even scored his first goal for his country in the quarter-final against Argentina.
In both 2006 and 2010, Arne received the Silver-Laurel-Leaf, which is the highest sports award in Germany.
During the Euro 2008, Arne helped Germany make it all the way to the final, where they lost to Spain. Before hanging up his pro cleats, he played for MLS’ Chicago Fire, earning the 2012 season’s Defender of the Year.
We will share some great insight stories of the 2006 and 2010 World Cup when Arne played under Juergen Klinsmann and later under Joegi Loew, such as examples of players in the German Bundesliga.
We will also share examples of youth players who are part of GFL Soccer and have been extremely successful.
These examples that will help coaches on every level to recognize their responsibility but also give them some tangible and effective guidelines to develop leaders.
For both Arne and I, it was important in our career that coaches (leaders) invested in us, engaged with us and build confidence in us.
It was critical that the leaders in our lives built our confidence by believing in us …As a player, this was very important to me because once you know that someone is invested in you and believes in you, it gives you the strength you can use to overcome setbacks. And, trust me, every player has setbacks, but not every player deals with them the right way!
Diane Scavuzzo: How do leadership skills make a difference?
Eddie Loewen: When I think about the potential impact that strong leadership skills can make in players’ lives, it is huge!
For example, every season I have about 50 coaches who I impact as a Director of Coaching and these coaches have a direct impact on about 600 kids. In addition, with GFL Soccer, I am dealing directly on an annual basis with about 200-250 players that compete internationally.
Life is a constant process of experiences and through those experiences, we sharpen our abilities to lead.
A coaches’ leadership skills are critical to the success of every player on the field.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the most important trait of effective leadership?
Eddie Loewen: It depends on each individual what your values are and your personal philosophy of leadership, but the most important aspect is to be authentic.
Key points are:
- Be Authenticity,
- Build Relationships
- Make an Investment
And, always remember, you can not be an effective leader if you are not honest with those you want to lead. Even when you make a mistake it is important to be honest because this builds even greater respect!
These sessions will focus in detail on different leadership styles. We will also share some great insights about some very famous and successful coaches on the Pro Level.